By Thomas Conroy
Midwest USA – -(Ammoland.com)- I like bacon.
I like bacon so much that I’ve made my own homemade bacon and pancetta, using the recipes from the Ruhlman and Polcyn classic Charcuterie.
I’ve attended an official “Bacon Fest,” and sometimes drive 15 miles out of my way just to get the oh-so-good bacon prepared by a small meat products company in the area.
I wouldn’t call myself a bacon connoisseur, but I would say that I like bacon, a lot.
Recently, I had the chance to crack open some Yoder’s Canned Bacon, and give it a thorough review for Ammoland.
Oh, the things I do for the bosses at AmmoLand.
Yoders Canned Bacon retails for around $26 per 9 oz. can, and claims a shelf life of up to 10 years. ( Also available in the 12 Can Bacon Cases at substantial savings.
This wasn’t my first foray into long-term-storage, canned bacon. A couple of years ago, I also got to sample CMMG’s version of canned meat candy – Tactical Bacon – which I previously wrote about in this article.
My hardcore, scientific review methodology for evaluating Yoder’s Canned Bacon involved the rigorous, test protocol often referred to as “supper with the family.” The Mrs. and Junior both volunteered to give their expert assessments of Yoder’s Canned Bacon.
The Yoders label combines quaint 19th-century themes with what appears to be a version of the old U.S. Army Woodland Pattern camouflage. “Yoder” is one of the more common Amish surnames, and it’s printed in an old-fashioned-looking font. To the right of the word “Yoders” is a little black line drawing of a 19th century buggy with a woman in period dress standing next to it, above the caption “The Taste Tells The Difference.”
I cracked open the can with a standard manual can opener, to reveal the ends of many slices of bacon wrapped in some sort of white substance. At first, I thought it was fat, but pulling the mass out of the can reveal it to be parchment paper, folded and tightly rolled.
As I unrolled the bacon, I noticed that the strips were already cooked, and appeared to be regular length, just like what you might fry up in a cast iron skillet. It was packaged pretty much exactly like CMMG’s Tactical Bacon. While I could not find a definitive proof of a direct link between Yoders Canned Bacon and CMMG Tactical Bacon, a quick Internet search revealed that plenty of other folks who’ve tried both kinds of bacon have some inklings and intimations about that particular subject.
Straight out of the can, the bacon smelled appropriately bacony, and showed little globs of congealed white fat here and there. It was also rather greasy to the touch, as I removed the strips from the folded-up parchment paper. But bacon is supposed to be greasy. That’s why it’s so good.
Serving It Up
I put the pieces onto a plate, counting as I did so. There are supposed to be 40 to 50 slices per can and this one had at least 39. Now it might have been more as a few slices were so tightly packed that they stuck together, and it was hard to tell where one slice ended and the other began. When the bacon was all laid out, I put the plate in the microwave
A quick minute in the microwave caused the congealed fat to melt. When I set the plate on the countertop, the bacon glistened like it had just come out of the skillet, and even crackled and hissed a bit in a pleasing fashion. I re-plated the bacon atop a white paper towel to soak up some of the grease, and then announced that dinner was served.
Mrs. Conroy remarked that it certainly smelled yummy, and quickly made both herself and Jr. a classic BLT sandwich. They both “Mmmmmed” appreciatively between bites, and polished off their sandwiches in quick order. Jr. asked if he could have some pieces of “just bacon,” and he wolfed those down, too.
The highest compliment Mrs. Conroy paid Yoders Canned Bacon was, “This is survival food I CAN eat.”
We’ve tried a number of different types of “survival” foods, including a pair of official government Tailored Operations Training Meals (TOTM) along with commercial MRE’s. Typically, Mrs. Conroy takes one bite, suppresses a gag reflex, and then says something polite like “This tastes like the inside of an old plastic bag,” before offering me the rest. Jr. is still young enough to enjoy the novelty of eating “Army-man food,” and enthusiastically downs his.
Compared to any MRE or similar we’ve tried, Mrs. Conroy says Yoders Canned Bacon is top of the line. In fact, as I was writing this very line, she went back into the kitchen for a few more of the remaining slices.
At $26 a can, you might think that “economy” is the last word to associate with Yoders Canned Bacon. But look at what you get. First, one can contains around 40 slices of already-cooked bacon. I pulled a package of raw, grocery-store bacon out the fridge and through the plastic package counted 15 or 16 slices of bacon.
One can of Yoders is equivalent to two pounds – or more – of uncooked store-bought bacon.
And good luck getting uncooked, store-bought bacon to last for 10 years down on your basement shelf. Plus, you need a skillet or pan, and a fire or heat source to cook regular bacon. Yoders is edible –although somewhat greasy – right out of the can.
It tastes like “regular” bacon, but stores more conveniently and for years and years.
I give Yoders Canned Bacon two enthusiastic thumbs up. While not as crispy as freshly-fried bacon, it still tastes very much like it, and makes a great sandwich, or snack all by itself. Plus, you just cannot beat its very long shelf life. Stick back a few cans of Yoders, or get the black label version called CMMG’s Tactical Bacon, and you’ll be able to withstand any emergency in succulent meaty, smoky, bacony style.
Thomas Conroy is a firearms aficionado and writer who lives in the Midwest.